Infrastructure and Logistics

Agricultural infrastructures: Land, race, and statecraft in Turkey

This article argues that biopolitical infrastructures have been central features of Turkey’s ongoing colonization of Kurdish territories and populations and that the Green Revolution, despite its promise of progress and abundance, needs to be understood as part of this history of racialized state-making. In doing so, it joins recent literature that uncovers the local roots of the Green Revolution in domestic politics and land struggles in the global south, also revealing the entwined histories of accumulation and colonial and racial dispossession with agricultural norms and practices. Drawing on research in the records of the Economic Cooperation Administration, US Agency for International Development, Rockefeller Foundation Archives, Turkish parliamentary debates, and contemporaneous journals, I show how the Green Revolution can in fact be retold as an episode in a longer history of struggles over the distribution and use of land, the construction of agricultural infrastructures, and how these questions have been complicated by class, ethnic, racial, gender, and political divisions. The paper thus situates Turkey in a transnational history of agrarian development, while also relating the adoption of high yield seeds, pesticides, and grain cultivation to projects of land consolidation, internal colonialism, and racialized methods of state formation.

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Volume 40 Issue 6

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